Artists as diverse as Eminem, Radiohead, and Ghostface Killah all paid tribute to Gil Scott-Heron on Twitter when the poet who immeasurably influenced hip-hop passed away on May 27th. Following Heron's death though, Kanye West's dormant Twitter remained silent, even though West memorably sampled Scott-Heron on a pair of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy tracks. It turns out West had a much bigger tribute in store: At a memorial service for Scott-Heron at New York's Riverside Church yesterday, West made a surprise appearance to perform edited versions of "Lost in the World" and "Who Will Survive in America," which samples Gil's "Comment #1."
According to the New York Daily News, Stevie Wonder was listed on the memorial's program as an honorary pallbearer, but didn't make it to the service. The memorial also featured a performance by Scott-Heron's backing band as well as his daughter Gia Scott-Heron, who sang Bette Midler's "The Rose." Scott-Heron's wife Brenda Sykes delivered the eulogy.
"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
"I'm New Here"
[Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images]